Manitoba

Manitoba siblings host charity pick-up game for injured hockey player

Winnipeg siblings Maverick Rafter and Tatiana Rafter held a pick-up hockey game Tuesday to raise money for Braden Pettinger, a player who was paralyzed from the neck down in November during a game.

Maverick and Tatiana Rafter organize game of shinny to raise funds for paralyzed Braden Pettinger

Maverick Rafter (left) and his sister Tatiana Rafter (right) organized a pick-up hockey game at Sturgeon Heights Community Centre Tuesday to raise money for Braden Pettinger, after the 20-year-old was paralyzed from the from the neck down during a game in November. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Winnipeg siblings Maverick Rafter and Tatiana Rafter held a pick-up hockey game Tuesday to raise money for Braden Pettinger, a player who was paralyzed from the neck down during a game last month.

Pettinger, 20, was playing for the Portage Terriers when he crashed head on into the boards during a game on Nov.12. He remains in hospital.

The Rafter siblings decided they wanted to do something to help the Pettinger family through the holidays, so they organized a charity shinny hockey game at Sturgeon Heights Community Centre Tuesday.

"Something like that, it's kind of rare to happen, so we thought, 'Why not try to raise some money for this family and make their life more comfortable at this time?'" Tatiana, who plays for the Buffalo Beauts in the U.S., told CBC News.

"It's tough to see someone in the hockey community go down like that. Obviously we have to rally, being the tight knit community that we are," Maverick, who plays for the OCN Blizzard, said. 

"If anything ever happened to someone that's close to me I'd want the same support that the hockey community has given him."
Players warm up on the ice at Sturgeon Heights Community Centre during the fundraiser for Braden Pettinger. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Having played against Pettinger for a couple years in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), Maverick said what happened to Pettinger impacted him personally.

"It's tough to see a familiar face who's wearing a different coloured jersey going down," he said.

Women playing for NCAA teams in the U.S., as well as men from teams in the MJHL and Western Hockey League, laced up the skates to play.

"It's been great to have the support from our friends, family and people we're not familiar with, who've reached out," Tatiana said. 

 Proceeds from the game will go directly to the family.

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